Knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances

The impact of technological overlap and alliance experience

Korcan Kavusan*, Niels G. Noorderhaven, Geert M. Duysters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

While alliances are widely acknowledged to facilitate knowledge transfers across firms, alliances also allow partnering firms to combine technological capabilities toward joint innovation outcomes through complementary specialization. We examine how technological overlap and alliance experience - widely recognized antecedents of external knowledge utilization - influence the extent of knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances. Our analyses of 841 two-partner technology alliances within the ICT industry indicate that alliances between firms with moderate-to-high degrees of technological overlap favor high levels of knowledge acquisition across partnering firms while alliances among firms sharing either low or high levels of technological overlap are well-suited for complementary specialization. We further find that partnering firms' prior experiences with a diverse range of alliance partners strengthen these relationships. Our results also suggest that the likelihood of an alliance to simultaneously exhibit knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization improves as partnering firms' technological overlap and alliance experience increase. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2153-2165
Number of pages13
JournalResearch Policy: A Journal devoted to Research Policy, Research Management and Planning
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Alliances
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Organizational learning
  • Complementary specialization
  • Technological overlap
  • Alliance experience

Cite this

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title = "Knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances: The impact of technological overlap and alliance experience",
abstract = "While alliances are widely acknowledged to facilitate knowledge transfers across firms, alliances also allow partnering firms to combine technological capabilities toward joint innovation outcomes through complementary specialization. We examine how technological overlap and alliance experience - widely recognized antecedents of external knowledge utilization - influence the extent of knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances. Our analyses of 841 two-partner technology alliances within the ICT industry indicate that alliances between firms with moderate-to-high degrees of technological overlap favor high levels of knowledge acquisition across partnering firms while alliances among firms sharing either low or high levels of technological overlap are well-suited for complementary specialization. We further find that partnering firms' prior experiences with a diverse range of alliance partners strengthen these relationships. Our results also suggest that the likelihood of an alliance to simultaneously exhibit knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization improves as partnering firms' technological overlap and alliance experience increase. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "Alliances, Knowledge acquisition, Organizational learning, Complementary specialization, Technological overlap, Alliance experience",
author = "Korcan Kavusan and Noorderhaven, {Niels G.} and Duysters, {Geert M.}",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances

T2 - The impact of technological overlap and alliance experience

AU - Kavusan, Korcan

AU - Noorderhaven, Niels G.

AU - Duysters, Geert M.

PY - 2016/12

Y1 - 2016/12

N2 - While alliances are widely acknowledged to facilitate knowledge transfers across firms, alliances also allow partnering firms to combine technological capabilities toward joint innovation outcomes through complementary specialization. We examine how technological overlap and alliance experience - widely recognized antecedents of external knowledge utilization - influence the extent of knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances. Our analyses of 841 two-partner technology alliances within the ICT industry indicate that alliances between firms with moderate-to-high degrees of technological overlap favor high levels of knowledge acquisition across partnering firms while alliances among firms sharing either low or high levels of technological overlap are well-suited for complementary specialization. We further find that partnering firms' prior experiences with a diverse range of alliance partners strengthen these relationships. Our results also suggest that the likelihood of an alliance to simultaneously exhibit knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization improves as partnering firms' technological overlap and alliance experience increase. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - While alliances are widely acknowledged to facilitate knowledge transfers across firms, alliances also allow partnering firms to combine technological capabilities toward joint innovation outcomes through complementary specialization. We examine how technological overlap and alliance experience - widely recognized antecedents of external knowledge utilization - influence the extent of knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization in alliances. Our analyses of 841 two-partner technology alliances within the ICT industry indicate that alliances between firms with moderate-to-high degrees of technological overlap favor high levels of knowledge acquisition across partnering firms while alliances among firms sharing either low or high levels of technological overlap are well-suited for complementary specialization. We further find that partnering firms' prior experiences with a diverse range of alliance partners strengthen these relationships. Our results also suggest that the likelihood of an alliance to simultaneously exhibit knowledge acquisition and complementary specialization improves as partnering firms' technological overlap and alliance experience increase. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KW - Alliances

KW - Knowledge acquisition

KW - Organizational learning

KW - Complementary specialization

KW - Technological overlap

KW - Alliance experience

U2 - 10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.013

DO - 10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.013

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 2153

EP - 2165

JO - Research Policy: A Journal devoted to Research Policy, Research Management and Planning

JF - Research Policy: A Journal devoted to Research Policy, Research Management and Planning

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ER -